Parks employees likely to strike
BANFF, Alberta – Towns that make their livings on tourists visiting Banff, Jasper and other national parks in the Canadian Rockies are facing a bit of an ordeal. The union that represents employees of Parks Canada has failed to come to an agreement with the government agency over the terms of their new contract. A strike is looking likely for early August, one of the busiest times of the year.”With campgrounds potentially closing and cordoned bike trails left unsupervised, there is likely to be a reign of lawlessness throughout the country’s most beloved playgrounds, warding off the tame family recreationalists who bring the big bucks into the valley,” observed the Rocky Mountain Outlook.”After four years of almost crippling economic turmoil caused by the aftermath of Sept. 11, the SARS disease scare, mad cow disease, and the billows of smoke from last year’s fire suppression, it appeared that we might finally be in for a breather,” lamented the newspaper under the headline, “If it’s not one thing, it’s another.”Whistler’s summer death toll at sixWHISTLER, B.C. Two more bears have been killed in Whistler this summer, bringing the toll to six for the summer.In the latest cases reported by Pique newsmagazine, a bear with a broken front leg was shot. In the second case, wildlife officers decided to shoot a young female who had been aggressive with hikers and campers. Bear aggression is different than bear assertiveness, explained Sylvia Dolson, of the JJ Whistler Bear Society. “Assertive bear behavior is when a bear finds you in its personal space and is trying to get you out,” Dolson explained. Such behavior includes expelling air loudly in a manner called “hussing,” clacking teeth, slapping the ground, stepping or lunging toward a person, or even bluff charging. The motivation is not to hurt the person, but to get the person out of the bear’s space.Ketchum getting low-end unitsKETCHUM, Idaho – The amount of dedicated deed-restricted affordable housing in Ketchum is about to double. But it won’t take much, as Ketchum only has 17 such units so far. Some of the units will range from $82,000 to $164,000, reports the Idaho Mountain Express.